Meeting with a lawyer is a new and unfamiliar experience for many people. It can be stressful to discuss something bad that has happened in your life with a stranger, and you may wonder what the lawyer is going to ask you. Here are some things to keep in mind for your meetings with your lawyer.
At an initial meeting with your lawyer, one of the main topics will be to go over what happened that has led you to call the lawyer in the first place. Maybe that is a car wreck in which you were injured; maybe it was your loved one’s death after a fall at a nursing home; or maybe you believe you have been treated unfairly by an oil and gas company in receiving your payments. You’ll want to provide your lawyer with as many details as you can recall about the incident, and it can be helpful to bring in any notes or documents you have taken that are related to the incident or your injuries.
Your lawyer will also want to get to know more about you. This includes your background, education, work history, family, hobbies, and health. Getting this information serves multiple purposes for the lawyer. It is helpful to your case for your lawyer to identify potential witnesses who can testify about how they observed how a car wreck changed you, or doctors who can testify to your physical condition before and after the accident. It is helpful to know what activities you are no longer able to participate in because of your injuries or how much time you have missed from work or are limited in your ability to perform your job. But even more importantly, your lawyer wants to get to know you as a person and wants you to get to know them as well. This helps establish a trusting relationship between the lawyer and the client, which is beneficial to the case. It can be reassuring to know your lawyer also has young children and can understand your frustrations at not being able to play with them as much as you could before your injuries, or to learn that your lawyer also enjoys attending the kind of sporting events you do and that you can talk about some enjoyable topics in addition to your case. It is always easier to communicate about deeply personal matters, such as your lawsuit, with a person who you can see as a familiar face and a friend.
You should also be prepared to be honest with your lawyer about certain topics you may not be expecting to discuss. Your lawyer will likely ask questions about your criminal background, health history, family dynamics, and other elements of your personal life. This is not to pry or embarrass you. it is so your lawyer can learn about any potential issues that could come out during the course of your case and be prepared to handle those in a way that best protects you and maximizes your case’s value. Your communications with your lawyer are confidential, and your lawyer can answer any questions you may have about why they are asking you for this information and how it could affect your case. This helps set your case off on the right foot, and you should be upfront and forthcoming with any information your lawyer inquires about, even if you don’t think it’s relevant to your case.
These kind of conversations with your lawyer should remain ongoing throughout the course of your case. You should share any new information with your lawyer you think could affect your case and provide your lawyer with regular updates about your injuries, treatment, and how the lawsuit is affecting you. Feel free to ask your lawyer more questions about him or herself as well. You and your lawyer are in this together and getting to know your lawyer helps build the strongest team possible for your case.